Real-Life Superhero of the Week: Walter Cronkite

superheroyou real-life superhero of the week walter cronkite

Our Real-Life Superhero of the Week is Walter Cronkite. Happy birthday! Born in 1916 in Missouri, Cronkite and his family mainly lived in Kansas City until they moved to Texas in 1926. Cronkite attended University of Texas at Austin and worked on the student newspaper The Daily Texan.

After dropping out in his junior year, Cronkite began what would be a long news career. He started out writing on sports and news and then gradually moved to radio – at WKY in Oklahoma and then moving to KCMO in Missouri.

Cronkite became known for his coverage of WWII in the ’30s and ’40s after joining the United Press in 1937, even flying in a bombing raid over Germany. He covered the Battle of the Bulge along with the Nuremberg trials. And after the war ended, he worked for the United Press in Moscow until 1948.

In 1950, Walter Cronkite joined CBS News as host of the newscast Up to the Minute. And from 1953 to 1957 he hosted Are You There, a show that reenacted historical events. But it was in 1962 that Cronkite got the job for which he’s known: he became the host of CBS Evening News.

During his tenure as anchor, Cronkite reported on the Apollo 11 and 13 missions, the Iran Hostage Crisis, and most dramatically the Kennedy assassination in 1963.

“Tonight there will be few Americans who will go to bed without carrying with them the sense that somehow they have failed. If in the search of our conscience we find a new dedication to the American concepts that brook no political, sectional, religious or racial divisions, then maybe it may yet be possible to say that John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not die in vain. That’s the way it is, Monday, November 25, 1963. This is Walter Cronkite, good night, ” said Cronkite as he signed off from his broadcast that day.

In 1968, Cronkite was sent to cover the Vietnam War on location. His report concluded that the war would have no winners since both sides were too equally matched. And if that weren’t enough, Cronkite was also responsible for covering the 1969 moon landing as well as Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

It was only in 1981 that Cronkite retired from CBS Evening News — after delivering the news to the American people for almost 20 years. But America’s Uncle didn’t give up on reporting after CBS. Cronkite began correspondent work for CBS and CNN and started voice acting. He narrated an IMAX movie and lent his voice to an EPCOT attraction.

Cronkite delivered the news, but he also became known as a political voice. He was an ardent critic of the War on Drugs. He also staunchly opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, comparing it to the Vietnam War.

In 2009, the “Most Trusted Man in America,” passed away from a terminal illness.

Walter Cronkite was a paragon of integrity. His dedication to presenting the honest truth to the American people is part of his enduring legacy. And he had the medals to prove it, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom. They just don’t make newsmen like Uncle Walter anymore. And that’s why he’s our Real-Life Superhero of the Week.

Enjoyed this? Check out last week’s Superhero Stephen King!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian 

Image via Rob Bogaerts/Anefo/Nationaal Archief

Our Real-Life Superhero of the Week is Walter Cronkite. Happy birthday! Born in 1916 in Missouri, Cronkite and his family mainly lived in Kansas City until they moved to Texas in 1926. Cronkite attended University of Texas at Austin and worked on the student newspaper The Daily Texan.

After dropping out in his junior year, Cronkite began what would be a long news career. He started out writing on sports and news and then gradually moved to radio – at WKY in Oklahoma and then moving to KCMO in Missouri.

Cronkite became known for his coverage of WWII in the ’30s and ’40s after joining the United Press in 1937, even flying in a bombing raid over Germany. He covered the Battle of the Bulge along with the Nuremberg trials. And after the war ended, he worked for the United Press in Moscow until 1948.

In 1950, Walter Cronkite joined CBS News as host of the newscast Up to the Minute. And from 1953 to 1957 he hosted Are You There, a show that reenacted historical events. But it was in 1962 that Cronkite got the job for which he’s known: he became the host of CBS Evening News.

During his tenure as anchor, Cronkite reported on the Apollo 11 and 13 missions, the Iran Hostage Crisis, and most dramatically the Kennedy assassination in 1963.

“Tonight there will be few Americans who will go to bed without carrying with them the sense that somehow they have failed. If in the search of our conscience we find a new dedication to the American concepts that brook no political, sectional, religious or racial divisions, then maybe it may yet be possible to say that John Fitzgerald Kennedy did not die in vain. That’s the way it is, Monday, November 25, 1963. This is Walter Cronkite, good night, ” said Cronkite as he signed off from his broadcast that day.

In 1968, Cronkite was sent to cover the Vietnam War on location. His report concluded that the war would have no winners since both sides were too equally matched. And if that weren’t enough, Cronkite was also responsible for covering the 1969 moon landing as well as Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

It was only in 1981 that Cronkite retired from CBS Evening News — after delivering the news to the American people for almost 20 years. But America’s Uncle didn’t give up on reporting after CBS. Cronkite began correspondent work for CBS and CNN and started voice acting. He narrated an IMAX movie and lent his voice to an EPCOT attraction.

Cronkite delivered the news, but he also became known as a political voice. He was an ardent critic of the War on Drugs. He also staunchly opposed the 2003 invasion of Iraq, comparing it to the Vietnam War.

In 2009, the “Most Trusted Man in America,” passed away from a terminal illness.

Walter Cronkite was a paragon of integrity. His dedication to presenting the honest truth to the American people is part of his enduring legacy. And he had the medals to prove it, including a Presidential Medal of Freedom. They just don’t make newsmen like Uncle Walter anymore. And that’s why he’s our Real-Life Superhero of the Week.

Enjoyed this? Check out last week’s Superhero Stephen King!

Written by Roselyn Sebastian 

Image via Rob Bogaerts/Anefo/Nationaal Archief

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